Staff Pick

When Thom Tillis was elected Speaker of the House in Raleigh, even Democrats predicted an era of bipartisanship. Instead, the supposedly moderate Republican from Cornelius veered to the far right and directed a partisan blitz that rammed through one destructive measure after another. As a result of Tillis’ “leadership,” the legislature beat the state’s public schools like a rented mule; ditto for the university system; they shredded state environmental rules; OK’d guns in public parks; interposed the state between women and their doctors; scrapped funding for Planned Parenthood; denied affordable loans to needy community college students; worked to suppress voter turnout to benefit the GOP; played games with out-of-work North Carolinians’ unemployment benefits; and made it easier for giant corporations to avoid paying N.C. taxes. As the NC Policy Watch group noted, Tillis & Co.’s wrecking ball approach to decades of N.C. progress was “a fateful decision, the negative effects of which will be felt for years to come.” On top of all that, Tillis gave his staff big raises while claiming that teachers “don’t care about children, just their raises”; and he repeated his nonsensical mantra that GOP cuts would not result in thousands of lost education jobs so many times, pundits started to call him “the (Double)Speaker of the House.”

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